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Street Fighter

1 rating: -1.0
A movie directed by Steven E. deSouza

Based on the popular video game, this action-packed adventure pits Colonel Guile, the Allied Nations commando leader, against the diabolical General Bison in a high-kicking, futuristic, martial arts battle for the fate of the Earth. Julia's final performance. … see full wiki

Cast: Wes Studi
Director: Steven E. deSouza
Release Date: 1995
MPAA Rating: PG-13
1 review about Street Fighter

Fighting the Street and Loving It

  • Sep 15, 2008
Pros: Kylie Minogue is SO HOT!!!


Too many to list

The Bottom Line: Have fun for once in your life, huh?

Street Fighter would be a schlockey cheesefest no matter what it came from. But as it happens, Street Fighter also has the misfortune to bear the name of a revolutionary video game. As everyone knows by now, Street Fighter was based on the popular video game Street Fighter II, a classic which is very worthy of all the accolades it continues to receive. The video game brought a somewhat unknown genre to the forefront of the gaming world and won millions of fans who let the machine crunch their quarters like popcorn. Now, think about this: If a classic video game like Street Fighter II can produce a movie this bad, think of what would have happened had Steven E. De Souza tried to adapt one of Street Fighter II's prequels to the screen. Fighting Street and the first Street Fighter game were both terrible. If movies had been made from them, a lot of people would be trying to gouge their eyes out with their Butterfingers.

Anyway, Street Fighter was the third movie adapted from a video game to hit the silver screen. The first two, Super Mario Brothers and Double Dragon, were fun camp movies which mostly went unnoticed are were deservedly panned. Street Fighter also receives a lot of condemnation from moviegoers, from both fans of the game and people who never even knew the game existed. But is it really deserving of all the criticism? Well, actually, yes. In spades. But the thing is, I enjoyed Street Fighter. And the current crop of movies adapted from video games only makes me love it - as well as the aforementioned Super Mario Brothers and Double Dragon - even more. At least those first few movies were smart enough to recognize their source material and not take themselves too seriously. After Mortal Kombat made this mistake, that's when silver screen video game adaptations became unwatchable.

All Street Fighter wanted to be was a bad, implausible, and ridiculously silly movie. It accomplished its mission. The movie is about a mad dictator of a country called Shadowloo who takes hostages in order to receive money to build his empire of evil and the Military's fight to get them back safely. The main character, William Guile, is an All-American GI Joe wannabe for whom the dictator, Bison, makes the battle personal. Among the hostages is Guile's best friend, Charles Blanka, and Bison is using Blanka as the first subject of his experiment with supersoldier killing machines. I can hear the fans of the game screaming in agony as I write this. In the game, the Blanka character was merely a wandering creature from the jungles of South America and Guile's friend Charlie had no impact whatsoever on the story. Anyway, Guile goes into Shadowloo with either the aid or opposition of every character from Street Fighter II with the exception of Fei Long.

The movie is silly and absurd from the very beginning. First of all, Guile, that All-American golden Army boy, speaks with a Belgian accent. This is because he's portrayed by none other than the Muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude Van Damme. As is that wasn't enough, his very hot right-hand woman is Cammy, as played by Australian singer Kylie Minogue. Neither of them even try to hide their accents. Raul Julia chose a sad way to end his career, playing Bison with a ham fist and overdramatisizing just about every single line he reads. Most of the other actors don't do any favors for their characters either. Though I do have to point out the actor who played Zangief, the movie's comic relief. I don't know his name, but he gets two funny lines which are quoted endlessly by just about every video game nut on the planet. First is his wonderful reaction when he misunderstands Dee Jay's usage of the phrase "getting paid." Zangief, with a perfectly quizzical look in which you'll swear you can see the question mark hanging over his head, parrots "You got.... Paid?!" The other is the immortal phrase he screams out while watching a bomb coming straight at him over a video moniter: "Quick, change the channel!"

A lot of gamers have fielded complaints about their favorite characters switching sides or not looking enough like their animated counterparts. I'm okay with this. I understand the meaning of creative liscensing. What I don't like is the hackneyed plot. Had De Souza not been preoccupied with working character cameos into the movie, he might have been able to create a better movie than this. De Souza has credits among popcorn legends like Commando and Die Hard 2, but with so many characters, he really had his hands full. The plot takes absurd lurches and turns and thinks up quirky explanations for some of the things that happen. I've seen Street Fighter a million times and I have yet to fully understand why Guile fakes his death in the beginning, or just why Chun Li is so curious about the situation. A lot of the characters are motivated by nothing, and so I wondered just why they did some of the things they did. And don't forget, despite his efforts, De Souza was still unable to find a place for Fei Long.

A major problem is that Street Fighter II is a video game revolving around martial arts. There isn't a whole lot of it in the movie, thanks to the Military plot. While there are fights, many of them are brief. Many others are very clunky. Guile and Bison get the obligatory big fight scene at the end, Honda and Zangief get a massive if mostly unseen and heavily edited battle royal which includes a hilarious parody of Godzilla movies, and Ken and Ryu get to fight Vega and Sagat. But most characters are given nothing to do, even in the finale when Guile's troops storm Bison's palace. What I wouldn't have given to see Cammy throw her body around a little bit.

I will emphasize, however, that Street Fighter WANTED to be bad, and so there are plenty of funny quips, one-liners, and scenes. Zangief is the great comic relief of the movie. All of the actors perform like they're having the times of their lives, and even a lot of the things that are meant to be taken seriously will leave you smiling. Guile gets one of the silliest motivational speeches ever written, in any time, in any place ("Now who wants to go home... AND WHO WANTS TO GO WITH ME!!!"). Once the movie hits the gas pedal, there's either something action-y or something silly happening onscreen and so you'll never be bored. Game fans will probably enjoy themselves by taking checklists of the various differences between the movie and the game.

Street Fighter is terrible and not really worthy of the two-star rating I'm giving it. But I'm also going to do something which will doom my career on Epinions and place a recommendation on it. Yes, it's horrendous and it is effective torture to pretentious film geeks who refuse to watch any movies which didn't come out of Europe. But Street Fighter is one of my favorite So-Bad-It's-Good movies. It always makes me laugh, and therefore I don't consider it a waste of time or life. I feel the same way about Double Dragon and Super Mario Brothers. It wasn't until Mortal Kombat that game-based movies got REALLY bad. But hey, movie nuts have been torturing gamers long enough with crappy games based on movies. It's revenge time!


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September 20, 2011
yep. ditto on your pros LOL she is even hotter these days.

September 20, 2011
Yeah, she's aging rather well!
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